Earlier today self-proclaimed “grown-ass man” Jon Lester spoke with the Globe’s Pete Abraham about L’affaire Fried Chicken and the ouster of Terry Francona. For the most part Lester has been given props for being frank and open and, well, grown-ass about it. But two sources tell Mike Giardi of CSNNE.com that Lester’s downplaying of it all is disingenuous:
However, two sources I spoke to — one inside the clubhouse and one in management — said Lester’s comments only told part of the story. Their feeling is that the behavior of Lester, Josh Beckett, John Lackey and, on occasion, Clay Buchholz was irresponsible, occasionally reckless, and disrespectful to manager Terry Francona … “It was the guys who should know better, the guys who have been here and often benefited from Tito’s softer hand. I mean, how many times [did] Tito defend you to the press or stick by you, and this is how [you] repay him? It’s bull—-“
Well, glad to see that clubhouse strife is all straightened out. Nope, the new Sox manager isn’t gonna have any problems on his hands when he gets to Ft. Myers next February. No siree.
Infielder Brett Lawrie successfully avoided arbitration and signed a one-year contract with the White Sox on Friday, per a team announcement. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman added that the deal was for $3.5 million, significantly lower than the $4.125 million Lawrie was paid by the White Sox in 2016.
The White Sox acquired Lawrie last December in a swap for minor league arms Zack Erwin and J.B. Wendelken. After splitting time at second and third base for the Athletics in 2015, Lawrie slotted in at second base and DH for the White Sox and batted .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs in 384 PA. While it’s strange to see a healthy, fairly productive player receive a salary reduction in arbitration, Lawrie missed nearly half of the season with a strain in his left hamstring, though he’s projected to return at full health by the start of the 2017 season.
Left-hander Brian Duensing signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Cubs on Friday, per a report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.
The free agent spent the bulk of his 2016 season with the Orioles after receiving a call-up from Triple-A Norfolk in early June. He underwent elbow surgery several weeks later when a freak bullpen injury revealed cartilage chips and inflammation in his pitching elbow, but recovered to finish the season with a 4.05 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings for the club. The Orioles utilized him for a final out during the AL Wild Card game, during which Duensing recorded a five-pitch strikeout in the ninth inning of their 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays.
The 33-year-old is currently expected to bulk up the Cubs’ left-handed relief corps, with fellow left-hander Mike Montgomery slated for the rotation in 2017.